Kiwi athletes' trackside hug clears air after trip

MARK GEENTY IN GLASGOW
Last updated 09:11 03/08/2014
Jake Robertson
Photosport

TRACK TRIP: The moment Jake Robertson went to ground after an accidental trip from NZ team-mate Nick Willis, who stepped wide after the contact.

Jake Robertson
Getty Images
KIWI RUNNER: Jake Robertson.

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A trackside hug has cleared the air between New Zealand Commonwealth Games athletics team-mates Nick Willis and Jake Robertson.

Willis snared his third successive 1500m medal when winning bronze in today's final, and he was congratulated by Robertson after the latter took aim at Willis and others following the 10,000m final yesterday.

"We're athletes, that's your job to do sensationalist journalism on stuff the athletes might say. I'm not really going to participate in that stuff," Willis said.

Asked if he and Robertson had spoken, Willis said: "I gave him a hug and kiss after the race when he congratulated me on my medal just now, that's all we've talked about."

"I've been with my son and my wife the whole time I haven't really been in the [athletes] village much."

Robertson was accidentally tripped by Willis following behind, and fell to the track when in medal contention with just over a lap to run in the 5000m on the opening night of the programme.

Then, after he finished seventh in the 10,000m, Robertson's frustrations boiled over at what he labelled blatant team running by the Kenyans, and took aim at Willis for the events of the 5000m.

"They [lapped runners] are the reason that I fell in the 5km, including Nick Willis, which I will not forget for four years and if I'm injured in four years, then the rest of my life maybe. That was my chance in the 5000m so I will not forget that," an emotional Robertson said.

Robertson calmed down and returned later to clarify his comments, but didn't back down.

"Nick was really apologetic about that, it could have been anyone, but I'm still upset about the race, that was my chance to medal."

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